Alcoholics Anonymous Blog & Video | January 1 | DonInLondon | Step 1 "Powerless" |
"We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable." Speaking for myself, I need to translate the twelve steps into an active statement: "I do admit I am powerless over alcohol, and that if I drink today the consequences are life will become unmanageable all over again." If I ever forget or feel that I can go back to drinking without consequences, bad consequences, the only person I will be fooling is me.
January 1 Video
Step One Video 12 & 12
DonInLondon January 1, 2014: my last drunken January was ten years ago. I am not quite sober ten years, and the ghastly horrible consequences of my drinking was that I was near to quitting life altogether. I had endured Christmas day, pretending that I was all right and only just about able to eat anything when I went to see my mother. She knew just how ill I was, said nothing, and fed me just enough to get me able to walk back home and all I can think is that she was seeing me close to the end of drinking because I was dying. I was still stuck in self will. I kept on saying to myself that I would quit the next day, and then drank and drank and drank.
What were those days like? Waking up, checking I had some alcohol in the house, and then making sure I had enough to last the day and into the next. Wake up, and drink, fall back into sleep or unconsciousness. Day in and day out it did not get any better. Those were days when I never wanted to wake up again.
New Year’s 2004, my last inebriated New Year was terrible. On the edge of nowhere to live, yet again, and without doubt the most difficult part of the New Year was trying to face up to reality. I was unemployable and a wreck. Ten years later, I concentrate on how each day manifests in recovery. My sober anniversary will always be June 1, so I am not quite ten years without a drink. Nine years however, without a drink inside me has made a huge difference in how I am able to cope with reality and make sense of life as best I can.
My experience strength and hope of recovery is full of new endeavours, new experiences and especially and understanding about how I can keep sober one day at a time. The first thing I realised in January 2004, I could not rely on my own will, self-will to stop drinking. Alcohol is a drug which everyone I used to know drank to be happy, drank when in love romantically and when I fell out of love and felt devastated drank even more, drank to be sad, drank to get over grief, and just drank to take the edge off whatever was going on. And the reason why? Because life is difficult and reality today is very difficult some of the time. And why not drink to drown my sorrows? Because drink became the problem and I became the problem and I did not know what to do. It may seem very obvious to anybody else, but as an addict to alcohol, an alcoholic, the suggestion that I might get help just inflamed my anger, my pride and my ego was bruised and then broken. It seemed like a blinding flash, that I could ask for help, because I finally accepted that I could not stop harming myself on my own.
I had been to Alcoholics Anonymous on and off all of the year before. I used to think it was an organisation, and that it could cure me. I was very wrong and very upset when people just seemed very ordinary, had no clue how to help me and just filled me with resentments. An angry man, judging the people in Alcoholics Anonymous as nutcases, self-absorbed lunatics, you name it, if it was a negative thought, that is all that preoccupied my mind. I would go to a Sunday meeting most of 2003, and by a bottle of vodka on the way home. I could not hear the experience strength and hope of people in the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, because I wanted to be fixed and then put back on my old way of life. That never happened, the old life was done and I had to try understand that it was okay to restart my life after decades of drinking.
How do I feel all these years later on New Year's Day 2014? I feel really good, feet on the ground and still with my head in the clouds pondering on the possibilities of life today. I have family, near and far, some close because we are close, some distant because I don't really know them or like them too well. I have friends, some going back many years. And the love I could not understand back in the day, is now cherished. To be able to love and to be able to be loved back without conditions, "unconditional love," is a state of being in the moment of now. I feel gratitude as Buddhists often express it, to counteract all the negatives that life will throw my way today. I am not a Buddhist, at the same time they have great ideas. I am not a religious person particularly or at all, at the same time religious people with good conviction and strong belief help me every day and I am so grateful that any old prejudice I might have had has disappeared. I am able to surrender to the "truth, love and wisdom," which is developing today moment by moment.
"I admit that I am powerless over alcohol—that my life has become unmanageable." January 1, 2012, I feel so happy these days to admit that I am powerless over and if I were to drink again I would find myself back in an unmanageable life. It is so simple, that this complicated intellectual could not believe it. All I needed to do was stop hiding and trying to control everything and ask for help.
Every morning I say to myself step one I am powerless over alcohol and if I took a drink life gets unmanageable, step two I can be restored to sanity a daily basis contingent on knowing my spiritual condition and step three let go knowing the answers and ask for the answers from others. And the serenity prayer, God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference. Then I ask myself how am I feeling, why and what will be the impact it is mood continues? If it's a good mood and I feel okay, I most likely will think okay, and my actions during the day are likely to be in the solution rather than concentrating on problems.
And I also need to remind myself that it is okay to keep on learning and making mistakes. It is better I don't know the answer, before I get there or where ever I am. A mutual solution will lead to inclusion and not exclusion. And all I am doing is living this one day where everything happens and anything can happen now I have my eyes open…
January 1 2011 ~ A new year, I was still up pottering around at three this new year’s morning, pondering over what is in my cupboards I have not used for the last year and what do I need and what do I want. I told myself whatever I need do will become obvious as the day progresses... So far so good!
As Bill Sees It ~} Personality Change ~ "It has often been said of A.A. that we are interested only in alcoholism. That is not true. We have to get over drinking in order to stay alive. But anyone who knows the alcoholic personality by first hand contact knows that no true alky ever stops drinking permanently without undergoing a profound personality change."
We thought "conditions" drove us to drink, and when we tried to correct these conditions and found that we couldn't do so to our entire satisfaction, our drinking went out of hand and we became alcoholics. It never occurred to us that we needed to change ourselves to meet conditions, whatever they were.
1. LETTER, 1940 2. TWELVE AND TWELVE, P. 47
AA Big Book Video | Chapter 1 | Bill's Story |
AA Big Book Video | Chapter 2 | There Is A Solution |
AA Big Book Video | Chapter 3 | More About Alcoholism |
AA Big Book Video | Chapter 4 | We Agnostics |
AA Big Book Video | Chapter 5 |How It Works |
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